Healthy People 2010 breastfeeding goals: how does your state fare?
One of the goals of the Healthy People 2010 initiative is to increase the proportion of mothers who breastfeed their babies. Specifically, the objectives set forth by the Healthy People 2010 are for women in the United States to achieve:
- 75% breastfeeding during the early postpartum period (up from 64% in 1998)
- 50% breastfeeding at 6 months (up from 29% in 1998)
- 25% breastfeeding at 12 months (up from 16% in 1998)
These are modest and admirable goals, and meeting them should help to confer upon babies and mothers the many documented benefits of breastfeeding.
And the “burden” of meeting these objectives should be not just upon mothers–who, in my humble opinion, do have the profound responsibility to research the differences between breastfeeding and formula-feeding–but also upon obstetricians, midwives, labor and delivery and postpartum nurses, pediatricians, lactation educators, La Leche League leaders, lactation consultants, and any other person who has the knowledge and the opportunity to provide mothers with access to the information regarding the benefits of breastfeeding.
(Please note in the above list that there is no continuity of care when it comes to breastfeeding. NONE. So unless a mother has the time and available effort to connect the dots between the information and support her prenatal care provider, her labor care provider, her postpartum care provider, and any lactation educator or advocates or consultants give to her regarding breastfeeding, then she is left to swim in a vast sea of information and/or misinformation with only a disjointed support network to assist her in her breastfeeding efforts. But I’ll leave that diatribe for another post…)
In any case, I recently stumbled across the CDC’s current statistics on the breastfeeding rates in all 50 states, and as of 2006, 10 states were meeting not only all three of the above-mentioned goals but also the goals of achieving exclusive breastfeeding at 3 and 6 months.
So bravo, mamas and breastfeeding advocates of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington! You’re doing much better than my new home-state, Ohio, in which only 58.5% of infants are EVER breastfed. EVER!
How does your state fare on the CDC’s breastfeeding report card?